About arthritis Work and arthritis Healthy practices to follow in the workplace Good posture and positioning Sitting or perching, rather than standing, maintains a good posture and saves energy during lengthy tasks. If your job requires you to stand for long periods, talk to your employer about what adjustments are feasible e.g. perch. Remember your manual handling training and to think about how you handle or lift objects, to prevent injury and use energy effectively. Make sure your worksite is set up to support you make sure that your chair and computer monitor is at the right height and angle use an external mouse and keyboard with a laptop use a headset rather than a standard phone have a footrest be aware of your posture, seating position and movements change position regularly to minimise strain. Organisations can provide ergonomic assessments of the workplace and workplace furniture. Ask your occupational therapist to advise you. An ergonomic assessment examines how suitable and comfortable your work area is. Organise – frequently used items within easy reach. Make adaptations to your mouse, keyboard, remote controls and telephone headsets, etc. Plan and adapt Different activities demand varying levels of physical and mental effort. Plan tasks around regular rest periods and balance them Prioritise tasks Schedule tasks according to your energy levels and allow yourself to rest or undertake less critical tasks after periods of concerted effort. Prioritise daily activities Pace yourself outside of the working day. You may need to cut back on household chores and prioritise time for rest, light exercise and social outings. Take regular short breaks Walking to the photocopier or to get water. No one needs to know you are doing this for a movement break. Whether it is walking to the toilet, to get a tea/coffee/water, or simply to step outside into the air, breaks are even more important when working from home and everything is so close at hand. Make use of your scheduled breaks For rest/light exercise. Take your scheduled breaks even while working from home, do not work through lunch. Use leave entitlements Rest and refresh during your holidays and breaks. You may need to use leave for rest at times. While it may seem like a waste to take time off while being unable to travel, switching off from emails, social media and work responsibilities is still vital to feel rested and refreshed. Healthy diet A low-fat diet avoiding heavy, hot meals is effective in limiting fatigue. Excessive alcohol and smoking can also have a negative impact on the level of fatigue you experience. While working from home and perhaps not getting the same amount of exercise or physical activity as usual, a healthy diet becomes even more important. Take lunch and tea breaks Use these to stay nourished and hydrated. Boredom can often lead to snacking, but if you have healthy snacks to hand for lunchtime and break times, you can reduce your fatigue. Exercise Gentle aerobic exercise promotes muscle efficiency and strength and increases stamina. It can be useful to get out at lunchtime for a brief stroll to mobilise the joints and refresh the energy. It is also possible to perform adapted exercises at home using Arthritis Ireland's Take Control with Exercise programme. Manage your journey to work Take your commute to work into account and allow extra time for this if needed, or for rest after arriving at work. Consider reduced or restructured working hours Ask your employer if you can change your working hours or work from home if possible. Thousands more people are working from home now due to Covid-19. This is helping with some issues, but causing problems elsewhere with people working at kitchen tables, on the couch or in bed.